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The author Keith Weiner
Keith Weiner
Keith Weiner is CEO of Monetary Metals, a precious metals fund company in Scottsdale, Arizona. He is a leading authority in the areas of gold, money, and credit and has made important contributions to the development of trading techniques founded upon the analysis of bid-ask spreads. He is founder of DiamondWare, a software company sold to Nortel in 2008, and he currently serves as president of the Gold Standard Institute USA. Weiner attended university at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, and earned his PhD at the New Austrian School of Economics.

Keith Weiner

The Failure of a Gold Refinery, Report 12 Nov 2018

So this happened: Republic Metals, a gold refiner, filed bankruptcy on November 2. The company had found a discrepancy in its inventory of around $90 million, while preparing its financial statements. We are not going to point the Finger of Blame at Republic or its management, as we do not know if this was honest error or theft. If it was theft, then we would not expect it to be a simple matter of employees or management walking out the door with the gold. $90 million is about 2.6 tons....

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Wizard’s First Rule, Report 4 Nov 2018

Terry Goodkind wrote an epic fantasy series. The first book in the series is entitled Wizard’s First Rule. We recommend the book highly, if you’re into that sort of thing. However, for purposes of this essay, the important part is the rule itself: “Wizard’s First Rule: people are stupid.” “People are stupid; given proper motivation, almost anyone will believe almost anything. Because people are stupid, they will believe a lie because they want to believe it’s true, or because they are afraid...

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What Can Kill a Useless Currency, Report 28 Oct 2018

We believe that our site was rolled back during maintenance. So this is a repost. There is a popular notion, at least among American libertarians and gold bugs. The idea is that people will one day “get woke”, and suddenly realize that the dollar is bad / unbacked / fiat / unsound / Ponzi / other countries don’t like it / <insert favorite bugaboo here>. When they do, they will repudiate it. That is, sell all their dollars to buy consumer goods (i.e. hyperinflation), gold, and/or...

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Useless But Not Worthless, Report 21 Oct 2018

Let’s continue to look at the fiasco in the franc. We say “fiasco”, because anyone in Switzerland who is trying to save for retirement has been put on a treadmill, which is now running backwards at –¾ mph (yes, miles per hour in keeping with our treadmill analogy). Instead of being propelled forward towards their retirement goals by earning interest that compounds, they are losing principal. They will never reach their retirement goals. If you disagree, we encourage you to model it. We say...

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Interview, Ted Talk, Gold Bug Hope

I was on the Jay Taylor Show again, to talk about the the Swiss franc. No, the headline was not of my choosing. Adam Caroll gave a Ted Talk about how people behave differently when money isn’t real. And gets into a discussion of how kids will click to spend on their parents’ phones without any real appreciation for what it costs. It’s called “When money isn’t real“. Real being the paper dollar, and unreal being a credit card, or worse yet, waving your phone over a payment sensor. I just...

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You Can’t Eat Gold, Report 14 Oct 2018

“You can’t eat gold.” The enemies of gold often unleash this little zinger, as if it dismisses the idea of owning gold and indeed the whole gold standard. It is a fact, you cannot eat gold. However, it dismisses nothing. This gives us an idea. Let’s tie three facts together. One, you can’t eat gold. Two, gold is in backwardation in Switzerland. And three, speculation is a bet on the price action. The fact that gold is inedible is supposed (by the enemies of liberty) to be proof positive that...

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The Toxic Stew, Report 7 Oct 2018

Last week, we shined a spotlight on a crack in the monetary system that few people outside of Switzerland (and not many inside either) were aware of. There is permanent gold backwardation measured in Swiss francs. Everyone knows that the Swiss franc has a negative interest rate, but so far as we know, Keith is the only one who predicted this would lead to its collapse (and he was quite early, having written that in January 2015). Of course, in hindsight, it makes sense that durable negative...

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Textbook Falling Interest Behavior

This is a textbook case. Well, it would be if there was a textbook that presented the dynamics of the rising and falling interest rate cycles. Costco is spending over a quarter billion dollars, to make a capital investment in chicken processing. This is not the typical entrepreneurial investment, which seeks to increase margins by serving an unserved or underserved demand. This is an investment made with conscious intention to drive prices down. Costco is making a huge investment (I assume...

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Permanent Gold Backwardation, Report 30 Sep 2018

Sometimes, one just needs to look in the right place. And often in those cases, it just takes a conversation to alert one where to look. We had a call with a Swiss company this week, to discuss gold financing for their business. They reminded us that there is a negative interest rate on Swiss francs. And then they said that a swap of francs for gold has a cost. That is, the CHF GOFO rate is negative (the dollar based 12-month MM GOFO™ is +2.4%). Let’s review what GOFO means. The London...

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We Need a Free Market in Interest Rates

We do not have a free market in interest rates today. We have not had one since the creation of the Fed in 1913. The Fed began buying bonds almost immediately, which pushes up the price and hence pushes down the interest rate. However, as I discuss in my theory of interest and prices, the Fed creates a resonant system with positive feedback loops. It wants lower rates (so the government can borrow more, more cheaply) but it gets a destabilized rate which moves higher. At first. Then lower,...

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